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Reply by Jim Bertelson

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Posted on Fire extinguishers

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Jim Bertelson

4268 posts in 3698 days


#1 posted 04-19-2010 11:39 PM

Got a fire extinguisher, and I am a first aid kit…................those of you who know me know what I mean, but I have all the stuff, too, .........all kinds of bandaids, gauze, etc….......(-:

Flashlights are important, I have one in 3 of my totes. Have them around the house, in the winter Alaska is all about darkness.

But the fire thing is really important. Always remember the problems with linseed oil products and spontaneous combustion, or the open containers of volatile stuff that we use all the time…......and pertinent to me, the proximity of igniters such as furnaces, even though they are basically sealed. All my rags and paper towels with suspect products go outside in a bag for a few days before going into the waste basket. When you are done pouring, close the top of those truly volatile products, such as acetone, thinners, bulk WD-40, etc.

Funny, but pertinent story.

Back when I was in college-med school, I made money for my tuition working in a surgical lab doing transplant research. We used a small bottle on it’s side with gauze soaked in ether in it and the rat’s head in the bottle to anethetize the rats, after initially zonking them by dropping them into a metal can with ether in it. For you non-medical types, ether is the classic and complete anesthetic, except for the fact that it is high on the flammability list…...er….....one of the highest, and you feel terrible after the operation. (When I came home at night I smelled like ether, exhaled ether, and had a headache). We just threw our ether soaked gauze into the waste basket. (Bet that doesn’t happen any more).

The head lab tech opened the door to say something to us medical student peons, busily grafting skin to rats, and then threw the still lit end of his cigarette into the trash…...........immediate explosive type fire….....wham.

Never saw that guy move so fast…....ran to that trash bucket, and turned it over, and dragged it out into the hall.
(that is a trick to be remembered, deprives the fire of oxygen). The fire alarms didn’t have a chance to go off. He was uneducated, and very bright. He did kidney transplants on dogs single handedly most days, read…...difficult vascular surgery.

Bet it was the last time he ever threw a cigarette butt into a trash can…............

.............volatiles plus flame….......bad combo…..............

....lot’s of volatiles in woodworking…........

Alaska Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska


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